Solus Christus Sola Scriptura Sola Gratia Sola Fide Soli Deo Gloria Solus Christus Sola Scriptura Sola Gratia Sola Fide Soli Deo Gloria Solus Christus Sola Scriptura Sola Gratia Sola Fide Soli Deo Gloria Christ Alone Scripture Alone Grace Alone Faith Alone Glory to God Alone Christ Alone Scripture Alone Grace Alone Faith Alone Glory to God Alone Christ Alone Scripture Alone Grace Alone Faith Alone Glory to God Alone

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all of our friends and family!

What a year this has been and what an awesome time to sit and reflect on the Lord and His blessings. The love that our Father has seems so inconceivable (no, I don't keep using that word). to quote a recent email that I received...

This Christmas…

May your hearts be filled with His Peace
And may your cup runneth over with His Joy
May your life be flooded with His Presence
And may you experience the true essence
of Happiness in Him

This New Year…

May you reach deeper than ever to find Him
May you spend more time getting to know Him
May you reach out to others to share Him
And may you go beyond yourself to please Him

May the joy of the event of our Saviour's birth be yours this Christmas and all through the year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful Heart

At Thanksgiving Day celebration we as Christians must remember than to be thankful is a commandment to trust God Word that He is guarding over us with His blessings at all times as we should remember His many promises in the Bible both in the Old Testament and specially for us.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future"

-Jeremiah 29:11

We need to see it to it that no matter what happens in our lives that we know in our hearts that God is on the throne. I came across this quote that is very fitting...

I made up my mind today to live in an attitude of gratitude for God's blessings and not to emotionally react to daily life because what I live is temporal and subject to change but God's Life is eternal.

Every now and then, a Veggie Tales lesson pops into my mind. Today as I wrote this, Junior Asparagus and his Thankfulness Song did.

I thank God for this day,
For the sun in the sky,
For my mom and my dad,
For my piece of apple pie!
For our home on the ground,
For His love that's all around,
That's why I say thanks every day!
Because a thankful heart is a happy heart!
I'm glad for what I have,
Thats an easy way to start!
For the love that He shares,
'Cause He listens to my prayers,
That's why I say thanks every day!

It's a bit simplistic, but the one thing that it does show it that we should thank God for ALL of our blessings because ALL good things come from Him.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Patriotism and the Battle Hymn of the Republic

It seems that patriotism is a lost form or at least is losing luster in our society. I remember recently going to sporting events where people don't take off their hats or place their hand over their hearts during our National Anthem.

Anyway, I recently came across a link to a performance of the Battle Hymn of the Republic that was done by public school students. The song starts with elementary school kids singing. Later they are joined by 4 high school choirs and a high school band.

This is a really incredible and moving performance that's bound to stir the patriot in anyone.

Click here to hear the performance!

Keep patriotism alive in our country!

Because Truth matters,

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lost in Translation

I just read an interesting article on a new Bible translation. It's being put out by Brian McLaren and Leonard Sweet, stalwarts of the Emergent church "movement", "conversation", or whatever they call themselves today.

Below is an except from their Gospel of John...

1Before time itself was measured, the Voice was speaking. The Voice was and is God.
2This celestial Voice remained ever present with the Creator;
3His speech shaped the entire cosmos. Immersed in the practice of creating, all things that exist were birthed in Him.
4His breath filled all things with a living, breathing light.
5Light that thrives in the depths of darkness, blazing through murky bottoms. It cannot, and will not, be quenched.

My main concern is that they, the Emergent church as a whole, play "fast and loose" with doctrine and attempt to redefine the very meanings of the essentials of the Christian faith, redefining what truth is or isn't; saying that we can't know anything for sure and tailoring their experiences toward the worldly culture.

Sadly, those who follow these "leaders" will probably pick up this translation and encourage their followers to as well.

The Monkey and the Banana

I dunno, I feel like posting something totally out there today, so here it goes...

The Monkey and the Banana

A rope is placed over the top of a fence, the same amount of rope on both sides of the fence. The rope weighs one - third pound per foot.

On one end of the rope hangs a monkey holding a banana, and on the other end is a weight equal in weight to the weight of the monkey.

The banana weighs two ounces per inch. The length of the rope (in feet) is equal to the age of the monkey (in years), and the weight of the monkey (in ounces) is as much as the age of the monkey's mother (in years). The combined ages of the monkey and its mother are thirty years.

The weight of the banana plus half of the weight of the monkey is one-fourth as much as the sum of the weights of the weight of the rope, where all weights are in the same units.

The monkey's mother is half as old as the monkey will be when it is three times as old as its mother was when she was half as old as the monkey will be when it is twice as old as it is now.

How long is the banana?

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Blazing The Trail

Congratulations to G3!

Today, George won the JROTC cadet of the month for his batallion. He was chosen to represent his company against three other companies.

He was tested on his knowledge of a variety of subjects, including drill, chain of command and current events on a local, national and international basis. He was also judged as well on his appearance.

We are very proud of the time and effort that he has invested in this program.

It's also incredible to see how humbly he accepted this honor and the young man that he is becoming.

Way to go!

Friday, October 31, 2008


Well, it's that time of year again. No, not Christmas, although the decorations, etc. will be out in the stores (if it's not already) very soon. It's October 31, Halloween.

Whew, I said it! I know that the holiday of Halloween is a great source of consternation for a lot of Christians. Some don't participate at all, locking themselves in their houses with the lights off, while others decorate their houses with abandon.

Somewhere between the two schools of thought lies a middle ground; a place of participation, but not pandering to the overtly evil side of the day.

Don't get me wrong. I dislike the evil that is associated with Halloween, but would like to give you some thoughs to remember.

What better time of the year to talk to your neighbors and friends in the area than tonight when everyone will be out?

What better a night for a witnessing opportunity, when people COME TO YOU!

While reading various sources today, I came across this interesting, cool quote from Tim Challies' blog:

Perhaps the greatest fallacy Christians believe about Halloween is that by refusing to participate in the day we are somehow taking a stand against Satan. And second to that, is that participation in the day is an endorsement of Satan and his evil holidays. The truth is that Halloween is not much different from any other day in this world where, at least for the time being, every day is Satan's day and a celebration of him and his power. Another member of the Discussion List wrote the following. "Yeah... I've heard all of the 'pagan' reasons Christians should avoid Halloween. The question is whether we are actually particpating in Samhain when we participate in Halloween? Who or what makes the 'Witch's League of Public Awareness' the definers of what Halloween is, either now or historically? Such a connection between Samhain and my daughter as a ladybug or my son as a Bengals Boy is highly dubious."

Our church will be hosting a Trunk or Treat time tonight. It'll be a safe time for the kids and a chance for us to be able to meet people in the community that maybe we don't know. It'll give them a chance to see what the people are like at that "church down the road" where the Light is always on :)

Although this time of the year, we see ghost, goblins and ghouls, we will let our children dress up in costumes that are not scary. If you come to our house or church, don't expect to be scared, but do expect to be greeted with a smile and delicious candy by a princess, pig, caveman, soldier or farmer.

BTW, be nice to the farmer, he goes through Snickers withdrawals :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

Happy Birthday, Dad!

If my father were alive today, he would've been 73 years old. Wow, that seems old, then again, when I was growing up, I thought that 30 was old and that 40 was ancient... lol

Now that I am 40, I still think that it's ancient, but I reflect on the years as a chance to look back and remember where I was then and when I am now. I have learned a lot of things in what/how a parent should and shouldn't be through my parents. These things help to shape my life for the better.

Growing daily with Jesus and making life purposeful changes things.

I purpose time to play dolls with Jules
I purpose time to play catch with the boys
I purpose time to be silly with Megan
I purpose time to love me wife and make sure that my children see how much she means to me.
I purpose time with God to pass on spiritual truths to the children,

Diana once said that "God made you an original, don't die a copy." Regarding our relationship to others, this is true. The only one that I want to reflect as a copy is Jesus and I am far from that.

So today, I look back and reflect and look forward with anticipation of the wonders that God has in store for me and our family.

Friday, September 12, 2008

How do you give your life to Jesus?

How do you give your life to Jesus? That is a question that I came across while on Love Worth Finding's Web site. I so enjoy listening to Adrian Rogers even though he has gone home to Heaven. Anyway, I came across this and wanted to post it, so for those who don't know or who are struggling to put it into words, here you go...

Admit Your Sin: First, you must understand that you are a sinner. The Bible says, “All have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Abandon Self-Effort: You cannot save yourself by your efforts. The Bible is very clear that it’s “not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” (Titus 3:5). Again, “By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Acknowledge Christ’s Payment: You must believe that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for your sins. The Bible says, “God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). That means He died in your place. Your sin debt has been paid by the blood of Jesus Christ, which “cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).

Accept Him as Savior: You must put your faith in Jesus Christ, and Him alone for your salvation. The blood of Christ does you no good until you receive Him by faith. The Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

Jesus Himself said, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6). It couldn’t be any clearer than that. Now, if you would like to give your life to Jesus, then pray, “Oh God, I’m a sinner. I’m lost, and I need to be saved. I know I can’t save myself, so right now, once and for all, I trust You to save me. Come into my heart, forgive my sin, and make me your child. I give You my life. I will live for You as You give me strength.”

If you will make this your heartfelt prayer, God will hear and save you! Jesus has promised that He will not turn away anyone who comes to Him in faith (John 6:37). He will make you a child of God, if you will turn to Him (John 1:12). Will you trust Him today?


Because Truth matters,

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Happy Anniversary

Today is our 17th Wedding Anniversary! I just wanted to say Happy Anniversary to Diana!

It seems like just yesterday, when we "officially" began our lives together. I could never foresee all of the many blessings that God had in store for us.

I love you!

Love Always,

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Hunter Education

The boys and I have been getting pretty serious about wanting to go turkey and eventually deer hunting. Well, one of the first things that they had to do was to complete a Hunter Education Course that the State of Tennessee requires for all residents born after 1969 in order for them to hunt. Even though I squeaked by the age limit (Man am I I wanted to go through the course with them. We took the online classes and studies, completed the online test and headed down to Bass Pro Shops for more education, another test and a live fire exercise.

I am proud to say that we all passed. I'm not sure what the boys got a bigger kick out of, winning Bass Pro Hats or getting to shoot a .22 rifle.

Anyway, above is a pick of them with there certifications.

Great job, boys!

Sonic Car Show

This past Saturday night, I took the kids down to the car show at the Smyrna Sonic. It was pretty neat to see all of the cool cars that showed up, although I do have to say that the '57 Chevy was pretty much my favorite.

I think that the kids and I went crazy with the camera, but what a cool night out with the family!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Matt's Meet

Yesterday was our youngest son's first cross-country meet. There were 16 (or was it 19) schools represented and hundreds of runners that had to cover a distance of 1.5 miles. He had a great time.

I am very proud of him. He placed right in the middle of the pack, which is good considering that was up against Goliath-sized eighth graders and it was his first year running and first competition ever.

Needless to say, I can't wait until his next meet

Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Emerging Obamanation

Earlier I wrote about Brian McLaren's endorsement of Barack Obama for President. Today I read that emerging church author Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz) gave the closing prayer at the Democratic National Convention on Monday, August 25th.

Now, out of curiosity, I'll admit that I've watched some of the DNC over the past few nights just to get an idea of what's going on. Unfortunately, I missed Mr. Miller's prayer. His prayer follows below...

"Father God,

This week, as the world looks on, help the leaders in this room create a civil dialogue about our future.

We need you, God, as individuals and also as a nation.

We need you to protect us from our enemies, but also from ourselves, because we are easily tempted toward apathy.

Give us a passion to advance opportunities for the least of these, for widows and orphans, for single moms and children whose fathers have left.

Give us the eyes to see them, and the ears to hear them, and hands willing to serve them.

Help us serve people, not just causes. And stand up to specific injustices rather than vague notions.

Give those in this room who have power, along with those who will meet next week, the courage to work together to finally provide health care to those who don’t have any, and a living wage so families can thrive rather than struggle.

Hep us figure out how to pay teachers what they deserve and give children an equal opportunity to get a college education.

Help us figure out the balance between economic opportunity and corporate gluttony.

We have tried to solve these problems ourselves but they are still there. We need your help.

Father, will you restore our moral standing in the world.

A lot of people don’t like us but that’s because they don’t know the heart of the average American.

Will you give us favor and forgiveness, along with our allies around the world.

Help us be an example of humility and strength once again.

Lastly, father, unify us.

Even in our diversity help us see how much we have in common.

And unify us not just in our ideas and in our sentiments—but in our actions, as we look around and figure out something we can do to help create an America even greater than the one we have come to cherish.

God we know that you are good.

Thank you for blessing us in so many ways as Americans.

I make these requests in the name of your son, Jesus, who gave his own life against the forces of injustice.

Let Him be our example.


His reason for being at the convention was to bring

"a message to Washington that no single party has the Christian community in their pocket,"

While I agree that no party has the "Christian community" in their pockets, as we should be Christians first, then Republicans, Democrats, etc. second, I would just say to you, the reader that we should look at the values that are represented and see what aligns with God's Word.

I can understand trying to unify people, but the Bible says that light has no unity with darkness. Christians are called to be unified with each other, not with the world.

I'll leave off with this quote from the Bible...

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! - Isaiah 5:20 (NASB)

Because Truth matters,

Friday, August 22, 2008


Sometimes my oldest daughter, thinks that I am out of touch with the modern world. I dance funny and say funny phrases that make her cringe.

"Dad, that's so 80's," or worse yet, "That's so 60's." I don't think that she realizes that I was born in the late 60's... lol.

She thinks that the words that I use come from (and need to stay) in a different time. It got me to thinking about jargon. There's a sort of "culture" of words that are used in various "groups" of people. Truck drivers and doctors have their own way of talking, lawyers do as well. Teenagers DEFINATELY do, too.

He's a question. Does the church?

I was once accused by a ministry leader of being to "churchy" when using a certain word in a daily devotion that I was writing. "Well, it IS a devotional." I was told to try to change it so people would be more comfortable.

In looking at the trends of the post-modern church and how it is sharply veering away from Biblical Christianity over the past 5 or so years (I'm sure that it's been longer.), I am amazed that "emergent" churches and leaders chide "traditional" churches over being too "churchy" or out of touch.

Hello?!?! Have you ever tried to read something from one of their blogs or sites? It seems like they make up words daily to describe their new, but the way that Jesus really did things, way of doing church.

That being said, I ran across this interesting clip from an blog today that rather nicely sums up the pharasitical nature of emergents...

One of the criticisms leveled at traditional churches by the “emergent/emerging” crowd is that they use too much technical language, theological terms, and Christian jargon that nobody understands. They say we should root out of our vocabulary words like “justification, sanctification, glorification, dispensationalism, eschatology” and other similar terms. But ironically, they have gone and created their own vocabulary that nobody understands except those who are “in.” And yet, people who are excited and intrigued by what the emerging/emergent churches are doing are willing to learn the terminology and begin using it themselves.

You know what this means? Getting out message heard is not about weeding out tricky terminology. It’s speaking and writing with a passion and excitement that others are not only willing to listen, but also to learn and adopt the
language. Look at text messaging as an example. Text messengers have developed their own entire language. I understand very little of it, but those who want to communicate with other cell phone users have learned the language and terms and created their own sub-culture.

So can you use words like justification and sanctification? Sure! They’re more BIblical than words like “emerging” and “glocal.” But whatever terminology you use, don’t speak and write in a way that is dispassionate and cold toward God, His Word, and all those in the world (whether believers or unbelievers) seeking direction. While we want to be as clear as possible, if you use terminology that people don’t understand, they will try to learn that terminology if they catch your passion and vision.

Well said! In the end, if we just stick to the Bible instead of blindly following after leaders, personalities, conferences and mega-churches, we'll do just fine. There are enough words that have to be exegeted and taught without making up new ones that describe unbiblical methods.

I'm out. 10-4, good buddy!

Because Truth matters,

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

An Obamanation

I don't know why it shocks me, but it does. Brian McLaren has endorsed Barack Obama for President.

About his faith, Mr. Obama has said,

"I am a Christian, and I am a devout Christian. I believe in the redemptive death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. I believe that faith gives me a path to be cleansed of sin and have eternal life. But most importantly, I believe in the example that Jesus set by feeding the hungry and healing the sick and always prioritizing the least of these over the powerful."

- Christianity Today interview, January 2008


"Accepting Jesus Christ in my life has been a powerful guide for my conduct and my values and my ideals."

- Christianity Today interview, January

This is coming from a man who has the most liberal rating in the Senate according to the New York Times. He has been quoted as saying...

"As children of God, we believe in the worth and dignity of every human being; it doesn't matter where that person came from or what documents they have. We believe that everyone, everywhere should be loved, and given the chance to work, and raise a family." - A Politics of Conscience, Hartford, CT, June 2007

and yet, htis quote comes from a person who voted...

...against banning partial birth abortion. (Oct 2007)
...YES on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines. (Apr 2007)
...NO on notifying parents of minors who get out-of-state abortions. (Jul 2006)

I'm sure that "pastor" McLaren feels strongly about Mr. Obama's character, but when all is said and done, it's God's Word that is the rule and measure for our lives. The Bible says,

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! - Isaiah 5:20 (NASB)

Because Truth matters,

Friday, August 15, 2008

You're Not Fulfilling Your Biblical Duty!

The following is from a web page developed by Extreme Theology that calls pastors to Biblical repentance that I found very interesting. Based upon what is going on in Christianity today, this is a warning that a lot of pastors need to be heeding.

That being said, let this be a call to introspection; to examine yourself and turn back to God and His way of doing things. Preaching the Word is never optional!


The reason you’ve been sent a link to this web page is because your sermons do not preach that which is in accord with sound Biblical doctrine. Instead, you are preaching sermons that tickle itching ears.

The Bible Warns Us About Preachers Like You.

2 Timothy 4:3-4 says,
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound doctrine, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”

Jesus Didn’t Die On the Cross so that people can...

Be Wealthy.
Celebrate Recovery.
Have Abundant Blessings Here on Earth.
Get out of debt.
Have a Fulfilling Career.
Live Their Best Lives Now.
Find Their Purpose.
Expand Their Territory.
Experience God’s Perfect Plan for Their Lives.
Have a Peaceful Family Life.
Have a Fulfilling Sex Life.
or Reduce the Stress In Their Lives.

These types of sermons are myths that suit the passions of an unregenerate and unbelieving world. Leave these messages to Oprah, Dr. Phil and the infomercial self-help gurus.

Let’s Review What God Says You Should Be Preaching.

2 Timothy 4:1-2
“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”
Your Job IS to Preach God’s Word. (And don’t think for a second that the 3 to 4 measly verses that you pull out every Sunday to ‘proof-text’ your own ideas can be equated with ‘Preaching God’s Word”. If you think that then you need to step down from the ministry altogether because you have deceived yourself.) Get back to expository and expositional Bible preaching. Why?

Answer: Because Jesus Christ Sent The Church Out Into the World to Make Disciples.

Here is what Jesus said in the Great Commission

Matt 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

Verse 20 makes it clear that a crucial part of making disciples is teaching people to observe ALL that Jesus commanded. These commands can ONLY be found in God’s word. In fact, here is how Jesus defines a disciple...

John 8:31- 32
“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

By Jesus’ own definition, His disciples are those who “Abide in His Word”.

Therefore, there are no two ways about it. If you’re not preaching God’s word then your not making disciples. If you not making disciples your NOT fulfilling your job as a Christian Pastor. (Again, you are fooling yourself if you believe that 3 to 4 verses a week will even come close to meeting this standard.)

Furthermore, the type of self-help sermons you preach do not teach people about their sin and the salvation won for them on the cross. Self-Help sermons teach people to how to solve their own problems. The TRUE Biblical gospel teaches people that their ultimate problem is their sin and that the ONLY solution for their sin is JESUS CHRIST.

This gospel message needs to be preached Sunday after Sunday so that people in your congregation repent of their sins and trust in Christ ALONE for their salvation. Here are a few relevant passages to help you see this.

Luke 24:46-47 and [Jesus] said to them,
“Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations...”

Jesus said that repentance and forgiveness of sins needs to be proclaimed in HIS name TO ALL NATIONS. (This includes 21st Century America.) If you are a Christian pastor, you are not exempt from having to preach this message.

Here is what the Apostle Paul said about the message that he preached. Notice how well this message obeys the words of Jesus. Also notice that this was written to Christians, NOT un-believers.

1 Corinthians 1: 22-24
"For jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God."

Paul said we preach Christ Crucified. This wasn’t some message he preached just to unbelievers. He preached this message to believers. Notice this is written in the present tense.

Furthermore Paul clearly lays out the gospel that he preached.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4
"Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures."

This message of repentance from sin and the forgiveness of sins won for us by Jesus Christ on the Cross is mysteriously and sadly missing from your preaching and teaching.

But, the Gospel message is NOT an Optional message for a Christian Pastor.

You have NO freedom to opt out of Your Biblical Duty to preach God’s Word, preach sound doctrine, preach Christ Crucified for Sins, and preach Repentance and the Forgiveness of Sins.

Pastor, it is time for you to repent.

If you will not do your Biblical duty and preach the message that you have been given to preach by God Himself then you need to step down from the pulpit because you are in sin and open rebellion against the One True God. In that case, God will judge you for your sin, rebellion and false teaching. And don’t think for a second that God doesn’t care that much about what you preach and teach. Scripture says...

James 3:1
"Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness."
So, which will it be pastor?

Repentance, forgiveness and mercy for both you and the people who hear the True Biblical Gospel Message through you OR God’s stricter judgement?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Go Meat!

Today I received a funny email from Diana. She said that Jules is running around singing, "You hungry, you hungry. You Momma says you hungry!" which she squarely blamed on me in teaching it to her.

It's funny how certain commercials ingrain themselves in our heads. When we were over at a friend's house last week, the kids were in the pool while our friend was grilling burgers and dogs. Jules looks over and notices and promptly yells out, "I said a beef hot link!"... lol

She is too funny. I do have to admit that I am a fan of the commercials as well and they do stick in your head.

Sweetie, if your reading this, could we please place smoked kielbasa on the menu this week? :)

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Moment in Time

"If you could spend 24 hours with a leader, who would it be?"

That was a question that I recently read on a Christian blog. I gave it some thought. Not to sound super-spiritual, but Jesus was the first thing that crossed my mind. To be able to sit with my master and listen to him speak; to observe how he interacted with people; to ask the questions that I have that will only have answers when I get to Heaven. That would be the ultimate for me!

Some of the answers were:

Bill Hybels
Ron Paul
Bill Gates
Mark Driscoll
Rob Bell
Barak Obama
John Piper
Richard Branson
Ted Turner
Ravi Zacherias
Martin Luther King Jr.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Oprah Winfrey
Fred Rogers
Marilyn Manson
Andy Stanley
John Maxwell
Erwin McManus
Brian McLaren
Steven Furtick
Billy Graham
George Bush

There are some great names in that list...and some not-so-great names, but I figured that I missed something. I scrolled down to look at the answers and was very confused, then irritated, then confused again. I searched the page for the word "Jesus", but all that came up was "Phrase not found". Sadly that's the state of a lot of churches today... Jesus simply isn't found anywhere. It was really sad to read all of the names and reasons why people wanted to talk to these "leaders" and it all seemed to mostly focus on being mancentered.

All that being said, I'd like to change the question. If you had 24 hours to spend with Jesus, in person, what would you say? What would you do?

Because Truth Matters,

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday!

I just wanted to say, Happy 29th Birthday Diana!

Today is Diana's birthday and although she doesn't like to make a big deal out if it, I still want too. Here's the compromise, I'll just post it on the Internet :)

Anyway, Sweetie, I hope that you are having a good day! I also wanted to say that I love you very much!

Love Always,

Friday, July 18, 2008

The "guys" rules

I didn't make these up. Seriously, I didn't. I just thought that they were funny :)

At last a guy has taken the time to write this all down. Finally, the guys’ side of the story. We always hear “the rules” from the female side. Now here are the rules from the male side. These are our rules! Please note...these are all numbered “1” ON PURPOSE!

1. Men are NOT mind readers.

1. Learn to work the toilet seat. You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don’t hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1. Sunday sports. It’s like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.

1. Shopping is NOT a sport. And no, we are never going to think of it that way.

1. Crying is blackmail.

1. Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

1. Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

1. Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1. Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become null and void after 7 days.

1. If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of them makes you sad or angry, then we meant the other one.

1. You can either ask us to do something or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

1. Whenever possible, please say whatever you have to say during commercials.

1. Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.

1. ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

1. If it itches, it will be scratched. We do that.

1. If we ask what is wrong and you say “nothing,” we will act like nothing’s wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle, besides we know you will bring it up again later.

1. If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, expect an answer you don’t want to hear.

1. When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine... really.

1. Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball, the shotgun formation, or golf.

1. You have enough clothes.

1. You have too many shoes.

1. I am in shape. Round IS a shape!

1. Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight. But did you know men really don’t mind that? It’s like camping.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Graced Again

“The work of a true convert is not done. He (and she) finds a great work to do and great wants to be supplied. He (and she) still sees himself/herself to be a poor, empty, helpless creature who still stands in great and continual need of God’s help. He/she well knows that without God he/she can do nothing. After a true conversion, the soul is increasingly aware of its own impotence and emptiness. It is still aware of its universal dependence on God for everything. A true convert is aware that his grace is very imperfect and that he/she is very far from having all that he/she desires. Through conversion, new desires are produced in him/her that he/she never had before…So he/she still has plenty of business at the throne of grace: if fact, his/her business there increases rather than diminishes.”

-Jonathan Edwards

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Happy Birthday Jules!

Today is Juliana's 5th Birthday!

It seems like yesterday I was in the delivery room with Diana, watching Jules being born. What a special blessing and miracle she was and continues to be.

As I look back on the past 5 years, I can't imagine what our family was like before her. She adds so much to all of our lives.

Diana has some incredible pictures from the past 5 years on her blog. You can see them here!

I think back to a poem that I wrote for Jules when she was born and it still rings true today...

"My heart it surely skipped a beat,
the day I saw her dainty feet.
I cannot get her out of my mind,
So cute and sweet, she's one of a kind.

My second daughter, born today,
Through this all I have to say.
My joy that she is ours to love,
An angel sent from Heaven above.

I saw my child begin her new life,
Brought into this world by my sweet wife.
Oh what a joy, this truly was for me,
To see my daughter who was born to be."


Today, her feet aren't so dainty, but the joy that she brings gives me just a glimpse of the love that God has for us for she is such a blessing.

Happy 5th Birthday, Sweetie!


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Survey says...

I got this from Diana's blog. It's from one of those emails that goes around now and then. It's fun to fill out and to read about other people.

1. What is your occupation? Network Security Specialist. Sounds important, no?
2. What color are your socks right now? Blue dress socks
3. What are you listening to right now? My co-worker talking to himself
4. What was the last thing that you ate? Breakfast
5. Can you drive a stick shift? Yes. The first car that I bought on my own had a stick shift. I bought it without knowing how to drive one. What can I say?
6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Blue, (it's Jules' and my favorite color... inside joke)
7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? CSR from health insurance co. They rally are difficult, aren't they?
8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? what kind of question is that? Would you send it to people you don't like
9. How old are you today? 40
10. Favorite drink? Code Red Mountain Dew or Sweet Tea
11. What is your favorite sport to watch? Pro Football (Titans :) )
12.Have you ever dyed your hair? No, but Diana has dyed my hair
13. Pets? Cats and a dog
14. Favorite food? Diana's Chicken Marsala
15. Last movie you watched? Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi. The kids are on a Star Wars marathon right now.
16. Favorite Day of the year? Everyday
17. What do you do to vent anger? Hmmm... I don't know. I guess, yell.
18. What was your favorite toy as a child? Legos
19. What is your favorite season? Spring and Fall
20. Hugs or kisses? Hugs, but I wouldn't turn down kisses :)
21. Cherry or Blueberry? Cherry. Actually, strawberry.
22. What's under your bed? Plastic bins of winter clothes
23. What are you wearing? Dress slacks and and shirt
24. What do you do with your spare time? You've got to be kidding, right?
25. When was the last time you cried? Hmmmm.... I'd have to think about this
26. What is on the floor of your closet? I don't have a closet, just an area that Juliana uses to sing Hannah Montana songs.
27. What is your favorite music? Contemporary Christian or Country
28.Favorite hobbies? Read, work in the yard, play with kids
29. Favorite smells? Forest/trees
30. Worst smell? My kids when they don't shower....ewww
31. Who inspires you? My wife
32. What are you afraid of? Missing out on God's plan for my life.
33. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? Ollie.
34. Favorite car? Truck
35. Favorite cat breed? I don't know
36. Number of keys on your key ring? 10
37. How many years at your current job? Just started a new one so <1
38. Favorite day of the week? Saturday and Sunday
39. How many states have you lived in? 6, Florida, California, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Tennessee
40. Do you think you're funny? I'm hysterical...or just slaptastic (Yes, that's my word)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A la cart religion

I read an article in USA Today whose headline stated "Survey: More have dropped dogma for spirituality in U.S.". It's an article that describes a sampling of American's beliefs about certain tenents of religion and life. Here are some numbers/percentages taken from the article.

The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 0.6 percentage points for overall findings. The margin is a bit larger for subgroups such as "evangelicals" (26.3% of adults, who share strict ideas on salvation and common historic origins), mainline Protestants (18.1%, who share "a less exclusionary view of salvation and a strong emphasis on social reform") and historically black churches (6.9%, "shaped by experiences of slavery and segregation"). Among the highlights:

• 78% overall say there are "absolute standards of right and wrong," but only 29% rely on their religion to delineate these standards. The majority (52%) turn to "practical experience and common sense," with 9% relying on philosophy and reason, and 5% on scientific information.

• 74% say "there is a heaven, where people who have led good lives are eternally rewarded," but far fewer (59%) say there's a "hell, where people who have led bad lives and die without being sorry are eternally punished."

• 70%, including a majority of all major Christian and non-Christian religious groups except Mormons, say "many religions can lead to eternal life."

• 68% say "there's more than one true way to interpret the teachings of my religion."

• 44% want to preserve their religion's traditional beliefs and practices. But most Catholics (67%), Jews (65%), mainline Christians (56%) and Muslims (51%) say their religion should either "adjust to new circumstances" or "adopt modern beliefs and practices."

• 50% say "homosexuality is a way of life that should be accepted by society," but the most consistently traditional religious groups say society should discourage it — 76% of Jehovah's Witnesses, 68% of Mormons, 61% of Muslims and 64% of evangelicals.

• 51% have a certain belief in a personal God, but 27% are less certain of this, 14% call God "an impersonal force," and 5% reject any kind of God. "People say 'God,' and no one knows who they mean," says Kosmin, director of the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture at Trinity College in Hartford, Conn.

• 14% of all surveyed, including 28% of evangelicals, say religion is the "main influence in their political thinking."

Let's start... 78% overall say that there are absolute standards for right and wrong. On the surface, that sounds encouraging, but of that number, only 29% get that standard from their religion. Now the shoking thing is this number includes ALL religions. We are not just talking about Christians, so the number would drop even further is we take others out of the equation. Common sense and community experience accounts fot the remainder.

I think that it's interesting to note that the number of people who say that "there is a Heaven..." have the rest of that statement, "where people who have led good lives are eternally rewarded" to consider. I would have liked to have seen "there is a Heaven for people who have accepted the atoning work of Jesus' sacrificial death on the cross", but that would probably be too narrow for the sampling that was taken.

Nevertheless, it's the narrow road, regardless of how society thinks, that is the way to eternal life.

Yes, it means that all roads don't lead to God.

Yes, it means that there is only one true way to interpret the teachings (there are many applications, though)

Yes, it means that there are absolute standards for what is right and for what is wrong. For the 22% that said there wasn't, are you absolutely sure of that? :)

Yes, it means that there is one rule and guide for our lives - the Bible. We should NOT adopt modern beliefs and practices as our practice.

Rev. Frank Page, past president of the Southern Baptist Convention, sums the article up nicely by saying that, "The number (of churches that) teach a clear doctrinal Christianity are a minority today. How would people know it when they never hear about how to be saved?"

Still, Page is undaunted. "Jesus predicted all this," he says, quoting from the Bible (Matthew 15:8): "People honor me with their lips but their hearts are far from me."

"We still work as hard as we can to share the good news," he says, "even though we know most will reject the way."

As he song says, "Come, come let us return to the Lord..."

Sunday, June 15, 2008

We're on a mission!

Today is a very special day. We just finished our GA and RA camping trip (which was great, even though we got rained on). How in the world did I fit all of that gear into the car for the trip here? ...and why can't I fit it in on the way back?... lol

I also said goodbye to G3 this morning as he left with our youth pastor and others from our church to go to Georgia to help build another church. This is the second mission trip that he's been on, but this one is a bit different. There's a week's worth of very hard work ahead. He will be serving, working 10 hour days along side people from our church and others doing tasks that he's probably never done before, but he is embracing the opportunity.

He is looking forward to it and I am very proud of him and the attitude of service that he has. I pray that God will continue to grow and mature him after His heart.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A-camping we will go...

It's been a while since I've posted, so I wanted to update the "goings on" around the house. Tonight, I will be taking the some of the kids camping. This is pretty cool because I haven't been camping for a few years. The last time was when Matt and I went on the Father-Son campout.

This should be a fun experience. We are going on a GA and RA combined expedition. Well, it feels like an expedition with all of the sleeping bags, chairs, lanterns, compasses, etc.

I do want to mention something funny. As we were loading all of the equipment into my little car last night, the kids were handing me things to pack. I look up from the trunk to see Matt standing there with an ax. He casually said, "Well, we're going to need to chop wood." I don't think the ranger at the park would like that, besides, we're bringing out our wood. He was a bit disappointed, but understood.

Whew... that's one less thing to cram in the trunk :)

The only thing that really stinks is that we are supposed to have thunderstorms over the next few days. I hope that it holds off.

Oh, well, it should be fun :)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Evangelism - Part 2 (Open Air Preaching)

Moses, Jonah, John, the Baptist, Jeremiah, Amos, Isaiah, RA Torrey, Charles Spurgeon and Billy Graham.

That's some list! What do these people have in common? Open air or street preaching.

Peter was an open-air preacher, Paul was an open-air preacher, and so were Elijah and Ezra. Most importantly is the fact that Jesus, Himself was an open-air preacher. In looking at styles of evangelism, it's important that we look to the Bible as our source and guide and not man. God says that our ways are not His ways, so it doesn't matter what Willow Creek or Mars Hill or Northpoint does. What matters is our faith and obedience to our Lord and His call.

So, in keeping with using ONLY the Bible as our rule for ministry, let's look more at evangelism..

Every great sermon recorded in the Bible was preached in the open air; the sermon on the Day of Pentecost, the Sermon on the Mount, the sermon on Mars Hill, etc.

Some people may argue that open air or street preaching is not personal and that we as Christians need to develop relationships with people to show then that we are "just like them" and then we can invite them to our church because it's relevant and caters to them.

I will say that in that statement, there is some truth. Having a relationship with someone makes it easier to connect with them and makes them more open to hearing what you have to say because they (hopefully) trust your opinion. That is a valid method of witnessing, but not the only one.

I will also say this. There are people that we will never reach if we simply play the part of the matchmaker and invite people to church so they can get accept Jesus. We have to go to where people have no Christian friends, to where people who won't go to church are and compel them.

Let me stop there for a moment and take a small tangent... I am NOT saying that we need to hang out in bars to evangelize. We are to be separate from the world, but still have to go into it to accomplish God's will. We are a holy people, called out and set apart, called to go and love and bring people out of the world, not go and show them that we are just like the world.

Anyway, let's look at the Bible, because that IS the final authority in ALL things.

"Then the Lord said unto me, Proclaim all these words in the cities of Judah, and in the STREETS of Jerusalem, saying, Hear ye the words of this covenant, and do them." (Jeremiah 11:6)

"Whom we preach, WARNING EVERY MAN and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in CHRIST JESUS." (Colossians 1:28)

"In those days came John the Baptist preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, REPENT YE, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." (Matthew 3:1-2; see also Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3)

Well, that's it for now. See you in the next part.

Because Truth matters,

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Evangelism - Part 1 (Livin' the Life)

In thinking about evangelism, I thought that it was time to put some thoughts down about sharing Jesus. Every day 150,000 people will die. A large majority of those are not Christians.

Please go back and reread that. Seriously, go. I'll wait here...

OK, ready?

There are many methods that are talked about in today's world in dealing with the subject of evangelism, from relational to street preaching. They all have their pluses and minuses. I'm going to be looking at some methods during the next few posts.

What brought this up? We were listening to Glenn Beck last night and he had Kirk Cameron on. He was talking about Kirk's life and Kirk unashamedly used the opportunity to share his faith and the way that Jesus changed his life. We were watching, practically cheering during this time.

We've seen Bono, Rob Bell and Joel Osteen waffle on their convictions and dance around the room when the tough questions are put to them. We were thinking,
finally, here is someone who is unshamed to speak the truth about the Truth. There was no emergent, seeker-sensitive mumbo-jumbo, just the Truth.

Very refreshing!

Because Truth matters,

New Lady Falcon!


I just wanted to say how proud I am of Megan. She was one of 13 girls who were just selected to be a part of the SCMS Dance Team. In order to tryout, she had to attend a two-day camp to learn a routine as well as develop an ending of her own.

Congrats, Meg! I am proud of you and your talent and look forward to seeing you dance!

Friday, May 16, 2008

You know you are over the hill when...

Well, Diana let it out of the bag that I'm 40 today... the big 4-0... top of hill and looking down, as it were. It's OK, though. I've come to accept the fact and am trying to age with grace. That being said, here are some, "You know you are over the hill when's...." that I've come across. I have to laugh, because the sad thing is that some of these ARE true... lol

Anyway, here we go...

You know you are over the hill when...

Your back goes out but you stay home
At the breakfast table you hear snap,crakle,pop and you're not eating cereal
When you wake up looking like your drivers license picture
It takes two tries to get up from the couch
When you yell at your kids to "turn that darn music down"
When your idea of a night out is sitting on the patio
When happy hour is a nap
When you're on vacation and your energy runs out before your money does
When you say something to your kids that your mother said to you and you always hated it
When all you want for your birthday is to not be reminded of your age
You go to step off a curb and look down one more time to make sure the street is still there
It takes longer to rest than it did to get tired
Your memory is shorter and your complaining lasts longer
Your address book has mostly names that start with Dr.
You sit in a rocking chair and can't get it going
The pharmacist has become your new best friend
Getting lucky means you found your car in the parking lot
The twinkle in your eye is only a reflection from the sun on your bifocals
If everything hurts and what doesn't hurt doesn't work
If your house catches fire and the first thing you grab is your metamucil
You look for your glasses for half an hour and they were on your head the whole time
You get two invitations to go out on the same night and you pick the one that gets you home the earliest
You sink your teeth into a steak and they stay there
You get to the check out line,see how long it is,and decide what you have in your buggy isn't worth the wait
You have more patience,but actually it's just that you don't care anymore
Rocking in a rocking chair feels like a roller coaster ride
You confuse having a 'clear conscience' with a bad memory
You finally 'get your head together' and your body starts falling apart
You turn off the lights for economic reasons instead of romantic reasons
You wonder how you could be over the hill when you don't even remember being on top of it
Getting a little action means your prune juice kicked in
Caution is the only thing you excercise
You wake up with that morning after feeling and you didn't go anywhere the night before
You're not worried about losing your looks, only your glasses
You find yourself beginning to like accordion music.
Lawn care has become a big highlight of your life.
You tune into the easy listening station... on purpose.
You discover that your measurements are now small, medium and large. In that order.
You light the candles on your birthday cake and a group of campers form a circle and start singing Kumbaya.
Someone compliments you on your layered look... and you're wearing a bikini.
You keep repeating yourself.
You start video taping daytime game shows.
At the airport, they ask to check your bags... and you're not carrying any luggage.
You wonder why you waited so long to take up macramé.
Your Insurance Company has started sending you their free calendar... A month at a time.
At cafeterias, you complain that the gelatin is too tough.
Your new easy chair has more options than your car.
When you do the "Hokey Pokey" you put your left hip out... and it stays out.
One of the throw pillows on your bed is a hot water bottle.
Conversations with people your own age often turn into "dueling ailments".
You keep repeating yourself.
It takes a couple of tries to get over a speed bump.
You discover the words, "whippersnapper", "scalawag" and "by-cracky" creeping into your vocabulary.
You're on a TV game show and you decide to risk it all and go for the rocker.
You begin every other sentence with, "Nowadays..."
You run out of breath walking DOWN a flight of stairs.
You look both ways before crossing a room.
Your social security number only has three digits.
You keep repeating yourself.
You come to the conclusion that your worst enemy is gravity.
You go to a Garden Party and you're mainly interested in the garden.
You find your mouth making promises your body can't keep.
The waiter asks how you'd like your steak...and you say "pureed".
You start beating everyone else at trivia games.
You frequently find yourself telling people what a loaf of bread used to cost.
Your back goes out more than you do.
You keep repeating yourself.
Cafeteria food starts tasting GOOD.
You refer to your $2500 stereo system as "The Hi-Fi."
You make it a point to attend all the RV shows that come to town.
You realize that a stamp today costs more than a picture show did when you were growing up.
Your childhood toys are now in a museum.
Many of your co- workers were born the same year that you got your last promotion.
The clothes you've put away until they come back in style... come back in style.
All of your favorite movies are now revised in color.
The car that you bought brand new becomes an antique.
You keep repeating yourself.
You find this list tasteless and insensitive.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Way to Go, Matt!!!!

We just returned from MTSU and what a day it was! Today was Matt's 4H Regional competition. He had placed first in county last month and we were anticipating and preparing for this event. Even so, he was a bit nervous, but handled it like a pro.

We sat through 5 other presentations in the same category as his and it was incredible to see the confidence that this gave him.

I do have to commend him as well for being a gentleman. He was very nice and genuinely friendly to the other students competing.

I am so proud that that it wasn't about winning for him, but about doing your best. It was funny, when we were walking into the room for the awards, he was just as happy that we were going for tacos afterwards than he was in anticipation.

In the end, he got 1st place and we are very proud of him!

Way to go, Matt!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sheltered in the arms of God

Early yesterday morning, Dottie Rambo was killed in a bus accident. It makes me think about Matthew 5:45 which says that...

so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

It makes me think that here on Earth, nothing is guaranteed, even for Christians. There will be trouble and heartache and disappointment. We can have joy here, but true, everlasting happiness doesn't come until we go home.

Although I found her music late in my Christian life, I've been none-the-less touched by her gift.

Here are the lyrics from one of her songs...
I feel the touch of hands so kind and gentle,
They’re leading me in paths that I must trod;
I have no fear when Jesus walks beside me,
For I’m sheltered in the arms of God.

So let the storms rage high, the dark clouds rise,
They won’t worry me for I’m sheltered safe within the arms of God;
He walks with me and naught of Earth can harm me,
Sheltered safe within the arms of God.

Soon I shall hear the call from Heaven’s portals,
Come home my child, it’s the last mile you must trod;
I’ll fall asleep and wake in God’s new Heaven,
Sheltered safe within the arms of God.

So let the storms rage high, the dark clouds rise,
They won’t worry me for I’m sheltered safe within the arms of God;
He walks with me and naught of Earth can harm me,
Sheltered safe within the arms of God.

Sheltered safe within the arms of God!

Because faith matters,

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

Throughout my ALMOST 40 years, I have known some great ladies. I appreciate the sacrifice that women make in putting their children first and in nuturing and guiding their them into being loving and responsible members of society.

In thinking about my childhood, I know that I put my mother through all sorts of agony and grief and yet I was still placed first in her life. I think that my wife was easier on her mom, who was another incredible lady that I had the priviledge to know and love.

I know that Diana does through a lot in being a mom to our 4 children. She pours time, love and affection into them. Sometimes, there is a return and sometimes, there isn't, but it seems to be part of the deal. I thank God for her and the impact that she makes in our children's lives.

To my wonderful wife and all moms, Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Better late than never

During the past 2 days, the kids and I have been getting the garden together. I know it's a bit late to start, however, I cannot let the season go by without a garden.

This year, we are planting tomatoes, corn and some spices. The garden sounds small by some standards, but given our time constraint, we will have to make due.

On Sunday, my two daughters and I went a picked up a load of free composted horse manure. What an incredible thing it is to have a neighbor willing to share :)

It was funny... I asked the girls (the boys weren't home at the time) if they wanted to go with me to run an errand. My youngest daughter, the 4-year-old asked where we were going. I told her that we were going to go get some horse "poo" to which she replied, "Horse poo? That's disgusting. Let's go, Daddy!"

So the rest of the afternoon before church we shoveled and loaded and then pulled the truck up to our garden where we worked some into the area prepared for the tomato plants, unloaded the rest ( Hint: There's probably a compost pile coming soon) and planted some tomato plants with baskets. My youngest son expressed an interest in having his own garden, which is cool to hear about. I pointed to one of the plants and said that one is yours to take care of for now and that he can help with the rest (until we can get a garden going for him)

Monday afternoon, my youngest daughter and I planted herbs for Mommy and started some corn plants that we'll transplant later.

All in all, it was a pretty fun time.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Twins Turn Twelve

Happy birthday Megan and Matthew! Today our wonderful twins turned 12! Even though they are very much their own person and look nothing alike, I still refer to them as the "twins."

I can remember being in the delivery room as they were born... all of the nurses, doctors and staff. Although they were technically born a few seconds apart, Matthew is officially 1 minute younger.

I thank God for the wonderful priviledge of having our children. Seeing then grow from cute but insecure babies to wonderful children to confident young adults is an experience like none other.

Meg and Matt, I can't wait to see the plans that God has for your lives!

Happy Birthday!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Amazing Grace

We recently watched the movie, Amazing Grace. If you've never heard about it, it's the story of William Wilberforce, a British politician who fought to abolish the slave trade in England in the 1780's.

The movie follows a man's God-given passion for ministry and helping mankind. It also chronicles his association with John Newton, a former slave ship captain and the author of the hymn, Amazing Grace and how Mr. Newton encouraged him to serve God where he was rather than enter full-time ministry.

What an awesome testimony to the grace of God!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

What a week... and then some.

It's been a while since I've posted anything, so I thought that it would be fitting to talk about last week.

Last week was really tough. We had a TON of things happen in our lives that affected us in many levels.

On Monday, my cat, Sebastian passed away. He had gotten into a fight with a snake in the area and had massive infections all over his body. They finally proved too much for him and we had to let him go.

On Tuesday, my car's radiator developed a crack and spilt along the top, stranding me on I-65. Thanks to Diana (and Jules) I got running and we got the car fixed.

On Thursday, our Chihuahua, Willow passed away from old age. She is missed greatly by everyone, but I think especially G3, whose dog she was.

Sunday night and part of Monday, (OK, I know it's not part of the same week, but I DID say "and then some") Jules and G3 were sick with a stomach flu. I was up all night taking care of them and starting to feel queasy.

Tuesday, I was down for the count. I never felt that bad in my life from a stomach bug, althoug I think that I always say that when I catch something. Diana was also not feeling too well.

When it rains, it pours, as they say...

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Braggin' on the Kids

It seems like our kids give us enough fodder for the blogosphere with all of their (mis)adventures, so I wanted to post some good things that our kids do that make me want to brag on them.

Our two middle kids are in a musical play in school in which they sing to songs from Suessical, the Musical and Schoolhouse Rock. Last night was their performance and they were great. I am very proud of the time and effort that they've put in to Drama Club to be a part of this production. For those of you wondering, yes, that's THE llama :)

Great Job kids!

Friday, March 28, 2008

A glimpse of love...

Last night, my youngest daughter was in the process of going to bed when she had decided that she was going to take a new toy, a Barbie car to bed with her. When I was tucking her in, she had several Barbies and this big vehicle with her in her little bed. I asked her to hold on to the dolls, but to put the car next to her bed because it was too big and I didn't want her to get hurt during the night.

Well, she threw a fit fit and cried and kicked and carried on while I tried to reason with her. It was at this time that I gave her a warning to stop her behavior, to which she rolled over and continued. When she rolled over, I spanked her once on her rear. She turned over, wimpered (which broke my heart) and I continued to tuck her in and say prayers with the girls.

About 5 minutes later, I see a tuft of blonde hair peeking out from behind the couch near their hallway. I called to Jules to ask if everything was OK and to see what she wanted. She came to the edge of the couch and I got up and met her and bent down. She reached around my neck and told me that she was sorry. I told her that I accepted her apology.

She promptly said, "Will you tuck me in again?"

"Of course."

We went through the tucking in process again, when Meg called me to her bed. I asked her if she had put Nanna up to apologizing. She said that she told her to, but Jules was afraid that I would not forgive her. I thanked Meg and went over to let Jules know that she can always come to me and get forgiveness and for her not to be afraid.

That whole episode got me thinking about our relationship to God. How we want our own way with things and when we are disciplined, we are sometimes hesitant to come to Him and ask for forgiveness. The really awesome thing is that God always meets us, hugs us and forgives us. There is no reason that we should be afraid of the process.

In that small example, God let me see a bit into the awesome love that he has for us.

God bless,

Friday, March 07, 2008

Just wanted to say that...

...I love snow and it looks like we're going to get some tonight! It's been a while since we had a good amount of snow (about 5 years, I think), so we are long overdue. It'll be nice to see the kids get out and play in it tomorrow while I relax near a warm, glowing fire... ahhh... Now, if it were only going to snow this morning, we'd all have a snow day and that would be nice :)

Here is the official announcement:






That's it for now. Stay tuned for some pics!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Papa John's Honor Roll

Well, today was report card day and it was a very good day! All three of our oldest children that are in school made the honor roll!

Meg and Matt received coupons from Papa Johns for a free pizza so we all piled into the truck and went and ordered some pizza. I sprung for G3 and my pizza, a "works" pie!

I'm sure that the kids were overwhelmed as previously, I told them that we were having fish for dinner.

An side conversation with Megan yesterday went like this...

Megan: Daddy?
Me: Yes, sweetheart?
Megan: What's for dinner tomorow night?
Me: Well, we're having fish... Tilapia... with brocolli!
Megan: Ummmm... do you know how to make that?

(You see, Diana usually makes this great fish in a wine and garlic sauce and I think that Megan was afraid that I would do something like wrap it in Spam, deep fry it and serve it with gravy. Not that I would, but she has this notion of her mother's good cooking.)

Me: Yes, I do know how to make it :)
Megan: Ummmm... OK.

Yes, that was it. So, needless to say, she was happy to have pizza tonight. Little does she know that the fish has just been postponed until Saturday night... Now, where did I put that Spam? :)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

A Snow Day!

It never fails. It always seems to snow around George's birthday. It's something that I've almost come to expect. I love snow, the joys of winter, a warm fire, etc.

Well, today, we had a snow day! The county closed the schools, so I had to work from home so I could be home with the kids.

While Megan was content to stay inside and be warm all day, the boys were outside playing all day.... and yes, even with all of that snow, guess what the boys were playing with their friends?

Yup, football.

I'm beginning to think that Diana is right. There is no getting away from it... lol

The day was really nice. Matthew really learned to appreciate his ski mask and hot chocolate :)

Thanks, God for helping us to stop and see the beauty of your world!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

I just wanted to take this time to wish my wonderful wife, who is my Valentine, a very Happy Valentine's Day!

I love you, sweetie and hope your toes feel better :)

Love Always,

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Winds of Change at Willow Creek

The winds of change are blowing at Willow Creek. A recent announcement by Willow Creek's elders state that Randy Frazee is leaving and moving to Texas where he will teach and lead in partnership with pastor and author, Max Lucado.

Gene Appel, the Lead Pastor for Willow Creek's South Barrington campus is also leaving for another pastorate.

Change happens. I don't necessarily like change, but recognize that it is necessary. God is always looking for us to trust Him and grow in faith to give Him glory. I pray that these two men seek after God's will for their lives and that they honor Him in all that they do. I pray that they lead Christ-centered churches void of marketing tactics and fad trends.

The only other thoughts that I had when I read the news was sonething that struck me as odd.

Here is an excerpt...

"On January 17, 2008 the Elders of Willow Creek and Bill Hybels agreed that Bill will assume the role of Lead Pastor-South Barrington in addition to his other senior pastor responsibilities, which include oversight of the Regional Campuses and the Willow Creek Association. "

Other senior pastor duties of overseeing the campuses and association?

As far as I know, pastors are supposed to feed the sheep (John 21:15-17) and protect the sheep (Acts 20:28-29).

2nd Timothy 4:2 says a lot right here, too... "Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction."

Now I'm not saying that one does not need a sense of administration regarding a large congregation, it (the article) just struck me as kind of odd in laying out administration as prime examples of what a pastor does.

These two men, have a large "recognition factor". I pray that these two keep to their calling and not follow some of the things that Willow Creek did and that the Lord uses them mightily in their new ventures.

Because Truth matters,